Episode 151: Michael Apted, Buddy Guy, and Defordometrics

Filmmaker Michael Apted/Courtesy the artist

This week: Director Michael Apted on “56 Up” — the new installment of one of the greatest film series ever… Sportswriting legend Frank Deford tackles your etiquette questions… Guitar master Buddy Guy revisits his Louisiana roots… Fantasy author Leigh Bardugo lists her favorite fictional worlds… A filmmaking duo plug in to the world of indie video games… and a sweet roll gets a savory twist on Manhattan’s High Line. Plus: We fear the food world’s revolutionary new robot, and spin a Bad Thing from Vermont rocker King Tuff.

Icebreaker: Leigh Bardugo

Author Leigh Bardugo finds something funny about the KGB. (Her new novel Shadow and Bone – out this week – takes place in a world reminiscent of an earlier Russia).

Small Talk: Richard Lawson

The Atlantic Wire’s Richard Lawson shares what he’s talking about at dinner parties this weekend: a new robot that rips bones out of chickens. Next step: Skynet.

A History Lesson with Booze: Lady Godiva’s Wild Ride and “The Peeping Tom”

This month back in 1678, the town of Coventry, England first celebrated the world’s most famous streaker: Lady Godiva. Hear the Lady’s taxing tale, then moon over this custom cocktail created in her honor:

“The Peeping Tom,” as concocted by Richard Wood of The Kenilworth, just outside Coventry in Kenilworth, UK:

Add to a shaker:

  • 45ml / 1.5oz Arette Reposado Tequila
  • 10ml / 1 Tbsp Godiva Original Chocolate Liqueur
  • 10ml / 1 Tbsp Carpano Punt e Mes Vermouth
  • 10ml / 1 Tbsp Kenilworth Honey (or any other type)
  • Dash Ron de Jeremy ‘The Adult Rum’
  • Dash Bittermen’s Xocolatl Mole Bitters

Shake well and strain into an Old Fashioned glass. Serve denuded of ice or garnish. Drink with eyes closed, lest ye be strycken blinde.

Guest List: Leigh Bardugo

This week, author Leigh Bardugo publishes her debut novel “Shadow and Bone” – the first installment in her young adult fantasy series “The Grisha Trilogy” (Amazon calls it one of their “Best Books Of the Month”). It’s set in a unique, fictional world inspired by Tsarist Russia. Here’s Leigh to tell us about it…and to list some of her other favorite fantasy worlds:

Etiquette: Frank Deford

Since he got his break at Sports Illustrated in 1962, Frank DeFord has covered the sports biz from virtually every angle. His print articles have garnered countless awards; he’s one of only two authors with multiple pieces in The Best American Sports Writing of the Century. He’s also a frequent commentator on broadcasts and radio, and in fact he just aired his 1,500th sports commentary on NPR’s Morning Edition. This month, he published his new memoir “Over Time: My Life as a Sportswriter.” Like a true gamer, he tackles our listeners’ sports questions, like when to give up that Tebow jersey…oh, and how to kill a baseball player.

Eavesdropping: Buddy Guy

Guitar master Buddy Guy helped pioneer the famous Chicago Blues sound of the late Fifties and Sixties. His music influenced guitar greats like Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn. He just published a memoir called “When I Left Home: My Story,” and today we overhear him telling a dinner-party worthy story about his first paying gig.

Chattering Class: Indie (Video) Games

You’ve heard of million-mega-pixel video game juggernauts like “Call of Duty” and the Madden franchise. But – just like in music and film – there’s a growing indie community of game designers who spurn the industry and release their quirky visions via unconventional routes. Filmmakers Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky follow three indie designers in their winning new documentary “Indie Game: The Movie” (out now in select theaters, and on VOD June 12th.) They school Rico on the allure and artistry of games (no matter the budget), and why a bloody blob named “Super Meat Boy” matters.

Main Course: Pork Sticky Roll

This past week, Manhattan’s popular High Line – an elevated parkway along a former rail line – gained yet another function: food destination. Vendors just began selling from carts along the High Line, and a standout offering is Northern Spy’s pork sticky roll. The roll consists of pastry dough crammed with pulled pork and topped with parsnip glaze – it’s a major mash-up of sweet and savory. Brendan met Chris Ronis, one of the owners of the restaurant behind the cart, and asked him to describe the treat.

Guest of Honor: Michael Apted

Michael Apted has directed several notable narrative films over the years, like Oscar-winner “Coal Miner’s Daughter” and installments in the 007 and Narnia franchises, to name a few – but his defining work is a documentary fifty-plus years in the making: The “Up” series. Every seven years since 1964, Apted has revisited the same group of 14 Britons, updating us on their families, careers, hopes and fears. It’s become a long-form movie landmark. The latest installment, “56 Up,” just completed its 3-episode run on Britain television to rave reviews, and will eventually land in U.S. theaters. Apted tells Rico about working with real-life characters, gender issues, and what drives him to madness. (You can catch up on the earlier movies on DVD, or stream them on Netflix.)

One for the Road: King Tuff – “Bad Thing”

Vermont rocker Kyle Thomas has hopped between bands (experimental folk Feathers, the metal band Witch, and the garage-pop band Happy Birthday). This week, he put out a self-titled album under the name ‘King Tuff’. Bow down to its almighty single “Bad Thing.”

Other Music in this week’s show:

The Sea & Cake – “The Argument”

Aphex Twin – “Boy/Girl Song”

Tipsy – “Liquordelic”

J.J. Cale – “Lady Luck”

Badi Assad – “Naked”

Butterglory – “On A Horse”

Ramin Djawadi – “Game of Thrones Main Title”

Lou Reed – “My Name Is Mok”

Joe Hisaishi – “Howl’s Moving Castle Main Theme”

The Tony Hatch Orchestra – “Sportsnite”

Buddy Guy – “Slow Blues”

Kraftwerk – “Home Computer”

Meat Puppets – “Enchanted Pork Fist”

“BBC World In Action” closing title music, 1964

King Tuff – “Bad Thing”